What Do You Know About Being a Pumpkin Driver for Schneider?

By: Dave Davis

What Do You Know About Being a Pumpkin Driver for Schneider?
Image: Schneider

About This Quiz

If you've driven on the interstate system of the U.S. for even a short period of time, you've seen them; they're hard to miss! Schneider National trucks are usually painted a distinctive shade of orange that you can identify as far as you can see them. While not all Schneider trucks are orange, the company's vehicles are iconic, and their operators are referred to on the CB as "pumpkin drivers." The company is also generally regarded as one of the best trucking firms in the United States, both in its efficiency and its treatment of its employees. 

If you're chained to a desk or looking for a new career, the life of a truck driver, in general, might be attractive, and working for Schneider, in particular, might seem like a great idea. But are you Schneider material? What do you know about the company — or about truck driving at all? 

This quiz will let you know where you stand — and what you have to learn — when it comes to becoming a pumpkin driver.

Driving a big rig is some of the most demanding work in our society — a lapse of attention or judgment can lead to an accident and any accident in a vehicle that massive can quickly become a major event. Maneuvering a huge vehicle for long hours over long stretches of highway can be taxing. Think you've got what it takes?

This quiz will separate the "drivers" from the drivers, and let you know if you should knock on the door of Al Schneider to start the next leg of your career. Climb on up and let's get going!

calendar In what year did Schneider National move its first load?
1987
1953
1935
Schneider National is an international trucking and transportation company today, but when it started in 1935, the company consisted of one truck, which founder Al Schneider was able to buy after selling the family car. Fast forward to today and Schneider is one of the biggest names in the industry.
1921

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Truck Lot If you went to work for Schneider, about how many other people could you call team members?
5,280
10,100
15,035
19,600
It began with one man and a truck, but that number has expanded greatly over the years. As of 2017, Schneider National employs 19,600 people — mostly in the U.S. but also in other countries. Not all are fellow drivers, but it takes a team to move all that freight.

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Stock If you're driving for them, you should know how the company is doing. Which of these is Schneider's stock abbreviation?
ORAN
TRUK
SNDR
Schneider National joined the New York Stock Exchange on April 6, 2017, and uses the ticker abbreviation SNDR. At that time, for the price of $19.50, you could have bought a piece of the company (and you still can, although that number might be higher at the moment — check your local stock ticker).
SCNA

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Dog and truck You're not in it alone! How many company trucks does Schneider National have in operation today?
5,030
20,675
10,120
There's a reason you'll see so many orange trucks on the highway at any given moment — Schneider National has 10,120 company trucks, along with 33,830 trailers on the road, and hauls 19,318 loads per day at last count. That's a lot of freight moving up and down the roads.
40,297

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Top 10 Schneider is in the Top 10 when it comes to revenue for U.S. trucking companies. Can you guess their place in the ranking?
Tenth
Second
Sixth
In 2016, Schneider earned just over $4 billion in revenue, putting it in sixth place overall in the for-hire trucking company list in 2017, up a place from the previous year. Considering the first and second places were UPS and FedEx, that's not a bad showing at all!
First

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Map True or false: Schneider National only runs routes in the U.S.
True — The company has to pass off freight at the U.S. border.
False — They only run in North America.
True — if you count Canada as part of the "U.S."
False — Schneider is a worldwide business.
Schneider started with Al Schneider running a truck, but the company has grown since then. Schneider moves freight in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Central America. In 2007, Schneider National was granted permission to work as a domestic carrier and logistics services provider in China, making it the first North American trucking company to do so.

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Business plan Where was Schneider National founded?
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Al Schneider bought his first truck and served the people of Green Bay, Wisconsin as the country was going through the depths of the Great Depression. First known as Schneider Transport & Storage, Schneider National is now an international company and is still headquartered in the city.
Seattle, Washington
Detroit, Michigan
Greensboro, North Carolina

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Trucks parked Schneider enjoyed explosive growth in the 1980s. What was the reason behind this expansion?
Venture capital funding
The failure of its chief rival
An influx of Baby Boomer drivers
Government deregulation
The trucking industry — and the transportation industry in general — was heavily regulated by federal laws and controls. The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 deregulated the industry, giving it more freedom when it came to hiring, establishing rates and moving products more quickly. Companies like Schneider National flourished in this atmosphere.

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Driver They won't let just anyone behind that big steering wheel — what kind of license do you need to drive one of Schneider's big orange rigs?
Class D
Class 2
CDL
Driving a big rig requires a completely different level of expertise than for other types of vehicles, and a commercial driver's license (CDL) is necessary to work for Schneider or any other trucking company. Specifically, it requires a Class A CDL; a Class B CDL is necessary for vehicles without trailers, such as buses, tow trucks and dump trucks. Schneider offers a paid five-week training course, as well as tuition reimbursement for some driving school graduates.
For-hire endorsement

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Driving in rain In 2000, Sonny Wagner achieved a milestone at Schneider. What was it?
He was named Schneider's new CEO.
He bought Schneider National.
He drove 5,000,000 miles without an accident.
It's not an easy job to drive a big rig, so when Sonny Wagner turned over the 5,000,000 mile odometer without an accident, it was something to be celebrated. Wagner was the first driver in company history to hit this milestone (and, to date, only driver Bob Wyatt has done it since). Wagner drove 50 years for Schneider and retired in 2002, with his safety record intact.
He made his 30,000th delivery.

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Old Trucks It's important to know the history of your profession — in which American war were trucks first used?
World War II
The Korean War
The Spanish-American War
World War I
Passenger cars were still new when World War I broke out, but trucks quickly evolved and proved themselves invaluable during World War I in moving troops and supplies around. This utility translated to more and more trucks appearing on American roads after the war.

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Yard Tractor If you're asked to drive a "yard tractor," what are you going to be doing?
Moving trailers around the distribution center
Moving the trailers around the warehouse or distribution center is important work, and to do it, you'll be driving a "yard tractor," which is a truck designated to perform this service. Before the cargo moves across the country, it sometimes has to move across the warehouse.
Driving a green truck
Nothing — your driver's license has been revoked.
Driving across the country

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Relay When you "relay" with a fellow trucker, what are you doing?
Racing with another trucking team
Giving the other trucker information
Meeting in the middle of a journey to exchange cargo
When truckers "relay," they meet in the middle of (usually) a longer journey, exchange cargo and then return to where they came from. This has the benefit of letting the drivers return home, instead of having to make a long trip out and a long trip back home.
Carrying the same cargo as they are

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Winton It had to start somewhere — when was the first semi-truck developed?
1898
The first semi-truck was developed in 1898 and was first sold a year later. The truck was the invention of the Winton Motor Carriage Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The company sold automobiles to people across the country but didn't want to put the miles on them during delivery. Thus, a truck that could take the cars to the buyers was born and the rest is delivery history!
1913
1935
1954

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Deadhead If you're asked to drive a "deadhead," what are you being tasked to do?
Drive a tractor with an empty trailer
While it's most efficient to always have freight going in both directions, sometimes a driver has to haul an empty trailer somewhere. This is called deadheading, and it's not any trucker's favorite thing to do.
Give a ride to a trucker between assignments
Give a hippy a ride
Take your truck in for maintenance

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Interstate Sign What can the numbers of an interstate in the U.S. tell you?
How old it is
How long it is
Which part of the country you are in
The direction it runs
You can tell which direction, roughly, you are traveling in by the number of the interstate you are on. Odd-numbered interstates (I-65, I-35, etc.) run north-south, while even numbered interstates (I-90, I-64) run east-west. Interstates with three numbers (I-275) are either spurs off other interstates or beltways around cities.

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Jake Brake What would be the "official" name for the Jake Brake?
Rotating disc brake
Inertial dampers
Compression release engine brake
When truck drivers want to save some wear and tear on the brakes, especially when going down a steep grade, they will sometimes use a technique called the Jacobs (or "Jake") brake, where the exhaust valves in the cylinders are opened after the compression stroke, allowing the engine to assist in slowing the truck. This is illegal in many areas, however, because of the noise it generates.
Downhill friction redirection

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Landing gear What is a semi-truck's "landing gear"?
The supports that hold the front of a trailer without the truck
The "landing gear" of the truck are the supports that hold the front of the trailer up when not connected to the semi truck. The height of these is adjustable for easier connection and they retract for times when the trailer is connected to allow the truck to get into motion.
The tires of the truck
The back wheels of an 18-wheeler
The brakes

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Gears A professional driver can find them and not grind them. How many forward gears does a semi truck typically have?
18
4
7
10
Although they can have more or less depending on the model and the truck's use, most semi trucks have 10 forward gears and two reverse gears. Drivers have to shift up and down frequently to get the best use of their engine and transmission, depending on the speed of the truck and the weight being pulled.

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Ramp If you need one, you'll be glad it's there — what is a "runaway ramp"?
A highway offramp with no sharp curves
A highway onramp with no sharp curves
A wide area off roads with a steep grade
On highways with steep grades, "runaway ramps" are often available. These are wide, soft areas that give trucks a place to go if the brakes fail or start to lose power, enabling them to slow down safely. You hope you never have to use one, but you'll be glad it's there when you do!
A highway gas station

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LTL Your next cargo is LTL. What does that mean you'll be carrying?
Refrigerated freight
Short-haul freight
Hazardous materials
Less than a full truckload
When a driver is carrying LTL, it means that he or she is carrying cargo that is Less Than (a) Load. This could be anything from a singular package to slightly less than a full load. While it's generally more economical to carry a full load, sometimes that doesn't work out, and so LTL is the name of the game.

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High Tech You're a cutting-edge driver because your truck is AFV. What does that mean?
You're carrying high-tech equipment in the trailer.
Your truck doesn't run on diesel.
The vast majority of semi-trucks in the U.S. run on diesel — but not all. An AFV is a truck that is an Alternative Fueled Vehicle. AFVs can describe vehicles that run on different types of fuel, including biodiesel, propane, CNG, ethanol or others. There are even electric semi-trucks on the drawing boards!
You're carrying top-secret material to a military base.
Your truck is equipped with the latest navigation gear.

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Steering When backing a rig with a trailer attached, which way do you turn the steering wheel to make the trailer turn to the left?
To the right
One of the reasons truckers need to have a professional-level driver's license is that semi-trucks can be difficult to handle, and the slightest lapse can cause a wreck — or worse. When backing a vehicle with a trailer, the trailer will go the opposite way as the front wheels; therefore, to turn a trailer to the left when backing up, turn the steering wheel to the right.
Straight
To the left
Trick question — the trailer goes where the cab goes.

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Buttonhook What is a "buttonhook" when it comes to truck driving?
Part of the linkage that connects the trailer to the truck
A method of turning with a trailer attached
When wanting to turn right in a tight intersection, usually in a city setting, truck drivers perform a "buttonhook" maneuver. They do this by bringing the trailer straight into the intersection and then turning sharply to the right to complete the turn.
Making a delivery and then making the return trip in another vehicle
Slowing down when told police are waiting ahead

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lucky Lucky you! Your truck has an APU. So why, exactly, are you lucky?
You've got a right to skip weigh stations for your load.
You've got an Auxiliary Power Unit.
A driver with a semi equipped with an APU, or Auxiliary Power Unit, can operate accessory equipment without having to run the truck's engine. APUs are independent generators that are much cheaper to run than the vehicle's main engine, and are great, among other things, for drivers on long hauls who sleep in their trucks.
You've got an Augmented Power steering Unit.
You've got an updated Automated Positioning Unit.

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Silver Bullet If you just got passed on the interstate by a "silver bullet," what just happened?
A police car with its lights and siren on just went by.
A tanker truck just went by.
A tanker truck, in CB lingo, is known as a "silver bullet." Most tankers that carry foodstuff in bulk are made of stainless steel and are a shiny silver, although many trucks carrying fuel and other cargo in tankers are also this color.
A sports car just cut you off.
You got passed by a truck carrying beer.

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Line of Trucks What's the quickest way of telling if a semi-truck is "COE"?
If it's been pulled over by cops
If it's carrying a heavy load
If it has a vertical front (a "flat face")
When configured as a COE, or Cab Over Engine, a semi-truck has a vertical front or a "flat face." This type of truck is common in Europe and Asia and was more common in the U.S. in the 1970s when many states had strict laws about the length of trucks. These trucks are commonly used for urban hauling, where tight turns are more necessary.
If it's doing more than 70 mph

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Yawn You've got a long way to go to deliver your cargo. What's the maximum amount of time you're allowed to drive per day?
6 hours
8 hours
11 hours
According to U.S. federal law, a driver can be on duty for 14 hours a day but can only spend 11 hours of that period behind the wheel. The law further states that drivers may work for no more than 60 hours on-duty over a seven-day period. Plot your course and time your deliveries accordingly.
18 hours

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Pigtail What is a "pigtail" when it comes to truck driving?
It's an electrical cable running from the tractor to the trailer.
The pigtail is an electrical cord that transmits power from the tractor to the trailer to operate items such as the rear lighting system. If there's a problem with the trailer's lights not working, this wire is usually the culprit.
It's the trailer used to transport pigs and other livestock.
It's the last 50 miles of a long trip.
It's the route no one wants, so the "new guy" gets it.

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CB What is being talked about when you hear the term "wiggle wagon" on the CB?
An inexperienced truck driver
A station wagon with small children in the back
An oversized load
A truck with multiple trailers
A "wiggle wagon" is a truck with multiple trailers connected to one another. Driving this kind of vehicle requires special skill and experience in a field that already is challenging; it requires a license with a special endorsement to operate a truck in this configuration.

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Logbook When it comes to professional truck driving, which of these is most important?
Finding a good seat cushion
Having a state-of-the-art GPS
Knowing the "speed traps" that are along your route
Keeping a proper logbook
While a comfortable seat and good guidance systems are important (and you should be watching your speed no matter where you are), keeping a proper logbook is essential for staying in compliance, and out of trouble, with state and federal law. These logbooks are typically kept electronically but can still be kept on paper for a short period if the electronic log is malfunctioning.

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Highway What is the longest interstate highway in the U.S.?
Interstate 65
Interstate 90
Interstate 90 is the longest highway in the United States, running almost 3,100 miles from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington. Coming in a close second is Interstate 80, which runs 2,909 miles from San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey.
Interstate 71
Interstate 5

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Truck Shadow What is the maximum weight allowed for a semi-truck and trailer?
80,000 pounds
To be in compliance with federal law, a truck and its cargo cannot weigh more than 40 tons (80,000 pounds) on the interstate system. There are special permits for oversize or overweight cargo, but a typical truck that comes into a weigh station over this limit is going to get its driver in trouble.
100,000 pounds
40,000 pounds
20,000 pounds

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Engine How many miles can the typical semi engine go without needing an overhaul?
2,000,000
1,000,000
In addition to being huge — semi engines are up to six times larger than a car engine — the engine that drives a semi-truck is also durable. The typical car engine will have to be overhauled after about 300,000 miles, while a semi engine is designed to last 1,000,000 before needing major servicing.
750,000
300,000

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Wheel What is the "fifth wheel" on a semi-truck?
The spare tire kept under the trailer
The round plate that connects the truck to the trailer
The "fifth wheel" of a semi truck is the round horseshoe-shaped plate that is over the rear wheels of the truck where the trailer attaches. The name comes from a similar structure on horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The fifth wheel, called a turn-table in Australia, is greased to prevent friction when turning.
The set of tires that can be lowered for heavy loads
Federal laws and other bureaucracy

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